Innovative strategies for minor actinides using molten salt reactors

Within the framework of the ISAC (Innovative System for Actinides Conversion) project of the France Relance initiative, preliminary concepts of molten salt reactor capable of incinerating minor actinides have to be proposed in connection with prospective évolutions of the French nuclear fleet (stabilisation or reduction of the plutonium and americium inventory, minimization of the deep storage footprint, …) and contraints linked to the nuclear fuel cycle (plutonium and minor actinides inventories). The specificities of molten salt reactors will be exploited to design innovative transmutation strategies.
The postdoctoral fellow will be based in the reactor and fuel cycle physics unit of the IRESNE R&D institute at CEA Cadarache. He/she will develop expertise in neutronics, fuel physics, and in the design of Generation-IV reactors of the molten salt type.

Design of innovative nuclear systems cooled by heat pipes

The combined goals of CO2 emission reduction and energy self-sufficiency, in the current geopolitical context, open up new perspectives for nuclear applications (cogenerations, hydrogen production, etc.). In particular, the MNR concepts (Micro Nuclear Reactors), with a thermal power of 2 to 50 MW, bear the promise of flexibility, while providing much reliability and accrued safety.
Among the MNR technologies, the particular concept in which the core is cooled by heat pipes strongly improves the inherent safety of the design, in normal and in accidental conditions as well.
In order to demonstrate the feasibility of such an MNR technology, a predesign of a single high temperature heat pipe should be performed for different selected technologies. Then, the overall heat pipe cooling system should be evaluated. Finally, after having modelled the core cooling system, an integration study including a predesign of the core itself should be done with the two subsystems coupled.